Califf is a cardiologist from Duke University who was appointed by President Barack Obama in September 2015 to replace Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who left the agency in March 2015.
While at Duke, Califf served in various capacities at the university's school of medicine and Duke University Medical Center from 1982 to 2015 before joining the FDA. He had been the FDA's deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco since March 2015.
Califf also founded and served as vice chancellor and director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute at Duke University School of Medicine. In addition, he was director of the cardiac care unit at Duke University Medical Center, and he founded the Duke University Clinical Research Institute in 2006, serving as its director.
Califf's nomination was approved by a vote of 89 to 4 in the Senate. His appointment had been blocked by a small group of senators over what they claimed was the FDA's poor record in regulating painkillers, according to an article in the New York Times.
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